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By Wisdom Mwale

Whenever I cast my proverbially  inquisitive sight towards a bottle of the famous liquor,  Calsberg Green or  the out-of-favour Sprite, which,  inevitably, has been superseded by the viral Frozy, I utter all forms of profanities upon my eyes, for evoking some really lumpish memories that I would rather entomb for eternity.  

 'Green' and Sprite constantly and painfully remind me of some legendary daftness I displayed some time back.  In Karonga. I had barely spent a month in Ngonde land at the time but my ancestors had already smiled upon me. With a few tricks I saw on the Telly I managed to cajole a certain damsel into believing that I could be her swain. A serious one. One that,  on one cursed day, after mislaying his mind, would sweat his hindquarters off and give some four robust cows to her makers, appreciating them for raising their daughter for me. Lobola as they call it.

 It was summer. Scotching hot as this October. On a Saturday like today. I figured it was a perfect day to take the sheila out, to the lake. A place, where in my ideal world, I pictured would be a perfect spot for me,  to spot what her mama passed on to her. As you know, summer wear and all. I took her to a place called Blue Beach....I should hope those of you in Karonga or some of you who have been lucky to visit, know this place like the date of the highly anticipated coming of our father, Mutharika.

 As we sat, while feeling the October heat upon our faces and beneath our delightfully tacky skins, a rare type of wind, too calm to be earthly,   complimented the flow of the waves on the blue waters of Lake Malawi. In my mind, I could sense something heavenly begging to happen. These opportunistic chaps dubbed prophets will call it a miracle. And yes! It really was. Knowing how rigid I was, I could not find the courage to close the 10 cm gap or should I call it distance, that lied between us. In a way, for some minutes, we were distant lovers, literally!  Or what others would term the "in-law mediocre respect". Suddenly,  she moved!  Closer to my bony bosom.

 Brothers and sisters in the Lord, I must confess here that before that miracle, the only other time I was accorded a glimpse of such a fairytale, was on the Telly. I thought it was an easy thing to attempt. I always convinced myself and challenged the other half of my mind that does not wish to see me smile, that I would easily romanticise and make every touch seem like a walk in the park. But it was never to be!

 Her sealing of the 10cm gap felt like a metallic object had sealed the opening of my windpipe. I could barely catch my breath. It felt like I was softly, yet swiftly being sent to my early grave by a bittersweet choke. What a painfully sweet demise that would have been had it occurred. I could hardly feel my feet. Anyone who has been anticipating to experience such a romantic moment for the first time will totally agree with me. That moment when you are not really scared but you uncontrollably tremble all over the place like an idiot. Yes! That moment. If you have never experienced it, my friend, you are an alien!

My heart was beating faster than Usain Bolt's fleet. I could feel the rush of blood through the protruding veins close to my skin,  it flew quicker than the fair lady who dwells next to your house. The one who wiggles her fallen buns in the lonely night to lure some thirsty chaps. Deathly clueless on what to do or say next, I reached for my phone. To check if the time had somehow ticked faster , in my favour, I hoped.  So that I could tell her "Babe its 17:30, we should be thinking of heading home".  

 Alas! To my dismay, the time was only 15:02. I had to come up with something. Anything.  From nowhere, or at least from hell, some courage....the very courage that still haunts me to date. And I am afraid it forever will, to my grave. ........the Telly must have fooled me. I remembered I had some cash with me. Believe me comrades, you can be the most foolish fool in town but one thing you don't forget when going out with a lady, is some cash....others will add to say...and some pads....yeah right! But as you might have guessed, the latter was nowhere near my wikipedia at the time. 

 With the softest of voices, nearly sounding like a malnourished toddler,  I whispered into her soft right ear....."Love, I want to go get us some drinks, ndikakugulire chani?"  She smiled. It certainly was good music to her ear. It is, to any lady's ear. She replied, with a voice that would rob you of every penny and render you bankrupt! Ladies know this tactic and have been using it since stupid Adam fell for Eve's catastrophic trick. "Buy me Green"......she said.

I set my foot forward,  with this confidence not even Nollywood have yet been able to imitate in their idiotic romantic movies. At the back of my mind I thought, "Green? She probably meant Sprite"......Seemingly clever, in my own world I thought, "She could be beautiful koma mwina wakulira kumapiri ku....nde walephera kunena Sprite". I was convinced she meant Sprite. Lets face it, most of you also thought sprite is green in colour until you poured it in that transparent tumbler.

 There I was, in this well furnished bottle store, it made me feel like I coughed a penny towards its making, before an insect flipped its wings just below my  armpits, sending my stench in all four directions. That slapped me out of the illusion and reminded me that I was just one of those stinky chaps in  town. Then, I met the eyes of the bartender, who welcomed me with the usual crooked smile that beacons one to buy.....the one these ladies show you when they find you sampling some bottles of wine in Shoprite, as they lure you to get them one, without necessarily uttering a word........."Only if they knew I initially come to buy Soya Pieces but when I see them by the corner of my eye, I change my mind and go to the wine section to window-shop" That, however, is a tale for another day.

 I was a happy man! jovial in every sector of my lengthy self.....glad that I had purchased the drinks that would compliment my day with the damsel . I approached her with the bottles stuffed behind in my back pockets..  I slowly released my left  hand to the front, to give her what she had been thirsting for.

 At the sight of the Sprite bottle, her facial expression transformed from that of Monalisa's fair face to how ladies look when you suddenly wake them up around 3  in the morning....the no-makeup-look......horrible sight!  I was taken aback......stunned at why bae's face had suddenly turned into something that  wanted to consume me alive, I paused. The next thing I heard was, "why did you buy me Sprite? I said Green! Calsberg Green"!!